I have been part of Gather the Women in Liverpool since October 2012. I discovered it at a time when I was awakening to new possibilities in my life, to being more of my true self and opening my heart to love – for myself and others. The first circle I went to the theme was ‘mindfulness’ and we concentrated on our breathing and what mindful meditation meant to each of us. This was so helpful for me as this was something I was beginning to explore as part of my blossoming ‘soul-full-ness’.
As I have become more familiar with the circle and the safe and deep space it provides for me, I have been enabled to be open about who I am and what is important in my life. Being accepted and loved unconditionally within the circle has taught me so much and I have taken this into my everyday life and living, sharing with others and offering unconditional love and acceptance to myself and the people around me as much as I can!
Being part of the circle has brought a deep sense of love and belonging, sharing my innermost thoughts, dreams and longings with a loving and accepting group of women. Some women struggle at times to express their feelings, their sadness, their joy but the love that is offered, in respectful and honouring silence, is felt by all who gather.
Gather The Women in Liverpool offers a beautiful and inspiring model of ‘circle’ – through the sense of love and safety, respect and being heard, I have experienced a real sense of equality and equanimity, of compassion and generosity.
For one circle the theme was sexuality and relationships. Having been married for many years I loved this rare opportunity to speak of my enduring love for my husband and his for me…to speak of continuing to have a wonderful intimate relationship with the same man for so long…It is something I don’t often share and It was liberating to speak of it, to celebrate it and to speak of my beautiful man. After the circle two women came to me to thank me for sharing, that they had no experience of anyone being married for so long and still being in love! It was good to feel I had touched them and they had felt blessed by my words. And that is what happens in our circle – people feel blessed through speaking and listening, through remaining silent and opening up, perhaps for the first time speaking from the heart more than the head.
My name is Jackie O’Carroll…for love I have lovely family, especially my husband, son and daughter, friends and ‘tribe’ who support me in my vision, my dreams and my work. My journey is about opening my heart to others and enabling others to open their hearts; it is about loving myself for my imperfections, my mistakes and my determination to continue to grow and blossom, to be all that I can be, all that is waiting for me!